MONTREAL, 23 November 2017 - The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has won an award for its extraordinary work implementing projects to phase out methyl bromide, a highly toxic gas once used extensively in agro-industry to control a wide variety of pests.
In 1992 methyl bromide was listed under the Montreal Protocol as an ozone-depleting substance (ODS) and the parties to the Protocol agreed to a global phase-out schedule.
Now, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has been granted an Exemplary Project Award for its methyl bromide phase-out projects.
The award was made by the Ozone Secretariat for the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The judges stated that “UNIDO quickly and prominently positioned itself as a proactive agency in methyl bromide phase-out, providing tailor-made solutions for each country and sector seeking to replace methyl bromide.”
The recipients of the 30th Anniversary awards were selected by an international jury comprising eminent environmental leaders based on the recommendations of a technical screening committee made up of experienced ozone experts from around the world.
The award ceremony held in Montreal on 23 November was organized by the Ozone Secretariat, in collaboration with the Government of Canada.
Tina Birmpili, head of the Ozone Secretariat, said, “I congratulate all the recipients of the awards for their extraordinary commitment and unwavering dedication to the Montreal Protocol. We also honour the contribution made by each individual, group, organization, and country towards making the Montreal Protocol a highly successful global environmental agreement that is protecting all life on Earth. We are all winners. We are all ozone heroes.”
UNIDO promotes a rational, ecological and needs-based approach towards pest and disease control. By putting into practice concepts such as Integrated Pest Management and Good Agricultural Practices, UNIDO’s approach aims to minimize the use of chemicals, while maintaining profitability and fulfilling consumer demand.
UNIDO worked with a large number of countries to achieve phase-out before 2015, including some very large past users like Turkey, Morocco, Mexico, Brazil and Zimbabwe. By end of 2013, about 7,300 ozone-depletion potential tonnes (12,200 metric tonnes) of methyl bromide had been successfully replaced through UNIDO projects, well in advance of the 2015 deadline.